The 1990’s brought about a battle for supremacy never before seen in the comic industry. The market was operating at an all time high and it seemed as though both main publishers (Marvel and DC) could do no wrong. The only problem was as publishers continued to make money hand over fist and control all the content being produced, the artists who created the work were left in the financial dark.
A young artist named Todd McFarlane burst onto the comic scene and reinvented what it was to draw comics. You might remember his work from Spider-Man or his creation of Venom. As his clout increased in the industry, so did his distaste for it. He, like so many others, was tired of doing all the work and getting pennies for his efforts. It was because of this that he and a few other notable creators took their talents elsewhere.
The list includes:
What they didn’t know at the time was they were about to create something very special.
Spawn: A True Anti-Hero
With the weight of the world on his shoulders, Todd knew that he had to deliver and deliver he did. Here was a guy tired of what the industry had become, setting off on his own to prove everybody wrong. Spawn #1 was released May of 1992. Its release was a critical success generating sales of 1.7 million dollars.
Spawn #1 was exactly what the world and the industry needed…a shake up.
Al Simmons (Spawn) was trained as an assassin during his time as a soldier. He had a partner named Chapel, who in an attempt to put a damper on their friendship, murdered him in cold blood. Doing what he thought was best, Al sold his soul to Malebolgia (one of Satan’s disciples) so that he may remain on Earth and see his wife again. Seeing the opportunity, Malebolgia agreed to Al’s request and sent him back to Earth not as Al but as his Hell Spawn. Disfigured and destroyed, Al was forced to live a less than ideal life.
Spawn instantly became the “it” factor of comics. Its release spawned (pun intended) a tidal wave of toys, merchandise, and a terrible movie. Yes, in 1997 the world would get a Spawn movie. The idea was good but the delivery was awful. The movie was shit.
McFarlane creates magic elsewhere…
The success of Spawn led McFarlane to do some other things.
Most widely known is his McFarlane Toys toy line. Initially, a line that only made Spawn figures, the lineup soon expanded to include American staples like the NFL, NBA, and NHL. Eventually, it would branch off into pop culture, creating figures of Metallica, Ozzy Osbourne, Elvis Presley, The Wizard of Oz and so many others.
Aside from Image Comics, McFarlane Toys became what Todd was known for.
Is it time for Spawn to be given another shot at the Big Screen treatment?
After quite possibly the worst Comic Movie adaption of all time (which is saying a lot), Spawn deserves it. Technology where it is and the widespread acceptance of comic book movies, Spawn must be in line for a remake. While they are at it, they should make it rated ‘R’. If it works for Deadpool and will probably work (at the time of this writing) for Logan, Spawn deserves it. As The Lonely Island famously said, the thought makes me “Jizz in my Pants.”